BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – A desperate robber who told a teller at Bloomington Municipal CU he had nothing to lose when he threatened to set off a backpack bomb agreed to plead guilty yesterday to reduced charges after it was revealed he robbed the credit union as his family was being evicted from their home.

James Tourle, 39, confessed to taking $7,000 from the Municipal CU branch during a lunchtime holdup Sept. 4. Tourle told the teller he had a bomb in his backpack and that he would “blow up a public place if things went bad and he had nothing to lose,” according to prosecutors.

Tourle was was stopped by police riding his bicycle about 10 minutes after the robbery and directedt hem to where the credit union cash was hidden.

Afterward Tourle, who had a prior conviction, told police he had been unable to find work and he, his mother and nine-year-old sister were being evicted the morning of the hold-up because they couldn’t pay the mortgage.

Tourle agreed to a plea deal that includes a maximum of six years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 16. He also is eligible for probation.


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